February 18/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 9,2-13. After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. Then they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He told them, "Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him."

Free Opinions.
At long last, Nasrallah needs to spell out his bottom line -Daily Star 18.02.07

Latest News Reports From miscellaneous sources For 18/02/07
Rice makes unannounced visit to Baghdad-AP
Rice: Lebanon on Front Line of Struggle Between Extremism ...
Assad Arrives in Iran for Talks with Ahmadinejad-Naharnet

Nasrallah Promises Victory 'Sooner or Later'-Naharnet
Hezbollah Chief Says National Dialogue Talks In Lebanon 'Premature'-
All Headline News
Ahmadinejad: Iran, Lebanon are 'Limbs' of the Same Body-Naharnet
Hezbollah vows to continue campaign to bring down US-backed government-International Herald Tribune
Iraq says borders with Iran and Syria to re-open-Asharq Alawsat
Lebanon Drops Conscription-Strategy Page

Latest News Reports From the Daily Star For 17/02/07
Assad due in Tehran for 2 days of talks
Siniora urges rival camp to end 'failed' sit-in
Nasrallah vows opposition 'will win' power struggle
Lebanese citizens flee impending civil war - in Guinea
Qabalan urges politicians to end 'lies and fabrications'
Berri hosts deputy German speaker for talks
Tyre to host cluster-munitions awareness event
Australia seeks to recoup cost of evacuating citizens during war
Brammertz, Mirza trade updates on Hariri probe
Ex-Akkar MP sees room for optimism in power struggle
Franjieh slams Bkirki for 'biased' stance in conflict
Hariri calls on opposition to spell out tribunal stance
Wary bus drivers dread repeat of Bikfaya blasts
Rights group demands legal shield for civil society
High tension means big market for armored cars
Persistent instability forces tough choice on country's university students
Orphans, disabled still brunt of Israeli attacks on Al-Mabarrat Charity
War-damaged bridge in Ghazir reopens
Prior to fatal day, a Shakespearean tragedy of misunderstanding


Nasrallah vows opposition 'will win' power struggle
'We have many options still open ahead of us'
By Rym Ghazal -Daily Star staff
Saturday, February 17, 2007
BEIRUT: Hizbullah's leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Friday that the opposition would be "victorious" in its campaign to topple the government, as he renewed his pledge to continue escalation until the opposition's demands are met. "I promise you that this opposition will win and reach all its goals," Nasrallah said during the annual commemoration of the killing of two senior Hizbullah officials, Sayyed Abbas Moussawi and Sheikh Raghib Harb, in Israeli attacks in 1984 and 1992 respectively. In a rear public appearance, Nasrallah paid tribute to the two Hizbullah leaders, and also responded to comments made by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Friday, as well as those made by members of the governing coalition on Wednesday during the two-year commemoration of former Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination. However, Nasrallah did not mention the international tribunal to try those accused of killing Hariri. Nasrallah insisted that he would not forgive Lebanese authorities for seizing weapons from his group. "We are ready to provide the army with all the weapons that it requires ... but we will not forgive anyone who confiscates a bullet and uses it irresponsibly," he said, referring to the truck-full of Hizbullah weapons seized by the Lebanese Army, near Beirut. Defense Minister Elias Murr has said the army would use the seized weapons to fight Israel in the event of any future violation of Lebanese sovereignty.
"The resistance will always stand by the Lebanese Army, with our weapons, men and blood ... to defend Lebanon," Nasrallah said.
"But this proves the point I made in December that the Lebanese Army had been given orders to stop weapons from being transferred to the resistance during the war," he said. "We never hid the fact that we had weapons, unlike other groups in this country who demand disarmament and themselves are armed to the teeth," the leader of the resistance said. "We have many weapons of many different kinds." During the war last summer, "we didn't fight Israel with swords made of wood," he joked.
"We don't take permission from parties who brought in weapons from Israel," he added, in a hit against Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who has vowed there will be no weapons allowed outside the Lebanese Army's control.
"We have the right to transport our arms to combat Israel and of course we have to transport them in secret. We transport them in secret to hide them from our enemies," he said. As for the opposition's next move, Nasrallah said, "we have not reached a dead end like many would like to think. We have many options still open ahead of us," he said. The Hizbullah-led opposition has been staging a sit-in the heart of Beirut since December 1, demanding the resignation of the government of Siniora. "We can fill all the squares in one blow if we want to," Nasrallah added. "Hizbullah will remain along the borders, in Beirut and everywhere else." He also expressed "brotherhood" with the Lebanese Army.
Nasrallah laughed off comments made by Druze leader and MP Walid Jumblatt on Wednesday about Hizbullah's weapons. "Better to give the army the weapons and rockets, and your allies the hay and wheat," Jumblatt had said, in reference to the materials used to camouflage the munitions seized by the army. "I don't understand why the whole country has to pay for someone's personal problem," Nasrallah said, referring to Jumblatt's stance against Syrian President Bashar Assad. "Some of the language used was worrisome and doesn't help us in reaching a solution."
Nasrallah also warned the United Nations peacekeeping forces in South Lebanon that Israel is "plotting" a clash between Hizbullah and the international troops. "There are no problems between us and the UNIFIL and we don't oppose their presence in the South," he added.
Nasrallah also accused the US of causing internal trouble whenever there are "positive" developments in the ongoing political deadlock in Lebanon.
"Whenever there is some light, some channel opening, [US ambassador Jeffery] Feltman does his round of visits and problems restart," he said.
At this stage, Nasrallah proposed "bi-lateral" meetings between an official from one camp and the other as a solution to the deadlock.
"The round tables didn't work as there were too many players, but meetings between two figures can move things forward now," he said.
"The opposition is not just Hizbullah, so meetings between its allies and the other camps are the same as meeting Hizbullah," he added.
He also repeated his stance on internal conflict, warning that "civil war is a red line."

Rice: Lebanon on Front Line of Struggle Between Extremism, Responsible states
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said Lebanon is "on the front line of the struggle between extremism and responsible states" and slammed Syria for trying to stir trouble in the country. Rice also said on Friday that it was necessary to support Lebanon in expanding its control over entire Lebanese territory and backing Premier Fouad Saniora's reform plan presented to the Paris III donors' conference last month.
"Lebanon is really on the front line of the struggle between extremism and responsible states. We do have a young government in the Saniora government that's under enormous pressure, principally from Syria -- something that Syria could release at any time, if it wished to do so," Rice told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. "Syria is not reconciled to the fact that its forces were made to leave Lebanon…nor is Syria reconciled to the fact that there is going to be an international tribunal…So this is a time to support the Lebanese government, to support them in extending their authority through their territory with their armed forces, but also in support of an economic reform plan that is backed by and supported by the international financial institutions," she said. Rice urged the subcommittee to approve $770 million in aid the U.S. pledged at the Paris III conference to help rebuild Lebanon and bolster Saniora. The funding comes on top of $230 million that the Bush administration promised last year.
She also reiterated that her government will not enter into direct talks with Syria. "There just isn't any evidence that they're trying to change their behavior," she said. Beirut, 17 Feb 07, 07:34

Ahmadinejad: Iran, Lebanon are 'Limbs' of the Same Body
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has described his country and Lebanon as "limbs" of the same body on the eve of a visit by Syrian President Bashar Assad to discuss the situation in Lebanon, Islamic Republic News Agency reported. "Iran and Lebanon are limbs of the same body, but unfortunately the Lebanese part of it is wounded," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling outgoing Lebanese ambassador to Tehran Adnan Mansour on Friday. According to IRNA, the Iranian president praised the "brave" Lebanese people and said "broader relations between Tehran and Beirut would foil plots knitted by the enemies of the two nations." Ahmadinejad vowed that the "Iranian government and nation, like in the past will continue to support" Lebanon. He also praised Hizbullah, saying "the spectacular resistance of your nation against military aggression of the 'Zionist' regime a while ago was unique and totally unmatched." He said with Hizbullah's "resistance" in the south during the July-August Israeli offensive on the country, Lebanon "became the flag of resistance, piety, and pride for all nations."The Syrian president will arrive in Tehran Saturday afternoon on a two-day trip for talks with his Iranian ally over regional issues, including Lebanon. Beirut, 17 Feb 07, 08:26

Nasrallah Promises Victory 'Sooner or Later'
Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday pledged that his followers will remain entrenched along the border with Israel, in Beirut and "everywhere in Lebanon" to achieve victory. Nasrallah, talking to supporters in south Beirut, said: "We will stay along the border, in Beirut and all over Lebanon. We are Lebanese citizens and this is our country."Hizbullah, Nasrallah stressed, "is capable of establishing presence in all the squares at the same time, and is ready to practice its jihad (holy war) in any sphere.""Don't despair," Nasrallah said, as his supporters waved clinched fists and chanted slogans supporting Hizbullah and its armed resistance. The March 14 parliamentary majority that backs Premier Fouad Saniora's government managed to "stay put since Dec. 1 because of external support," Nasrallah said in reference to the sit-in staged by the Hizbullah-led opposition to topple the administration.  "External backing can keep a group in power for a certain period of time, but not for good," Nasrallah said in an address marking the 15th anniversary of the assassination by Israel helicopter gunships of his predecessor, Sayyed Abbas Moussawi.
He said Hizbullah and its allies are facing "the same war" fought in July and August against Israel after Hizbullah operatives kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.
However, Nasrallah explained that "we are facing it with different methods."He urged his followers to be "disciplined" stressing that "this opposition will be victorious, sooner or later."Commenting on the truckload of Hizbullah weapons confiscated by the authorities east of Beirut earlier this month, Nasrallah said: "We want the weapons that had been confiscated from us, even if such weapons have been sent to the south.""My brethren and I are ready to give the army multiple folds of weapons, but we do not forgive anyone for usurping a bullet," Nasrallah said.
Defense Minister Elias Murr had rejected a call by Hizbullah to return the truckload of weapons and said it had already been sent to the Lebanese army deployed along the southern frontier with Israel. Hizbullah's resistance, according to Nasrallah, is ready to support the army. "Our men and fighters will be alongside the Lebanese army in defending the country," he said. He denied predictions that Hizbullah was setting the stage for a confrontation with the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon which is deployed along the southern borders with the Jewish state.
"UNIFIL did not come to Lebanon against our will. States donating troops contacted us as well as the Lebanese state and obtained guarantees" from Hizbullah, Nasrallah said. UNIFIL troops, according to Nasrallah, "are deployed in our villages, in our lands and we will not harm them. We keep our word, we gave them guarantees.""Trouble with UNIFIL is not in the interest of Lebanon, the south or the resistance," he stressed.
Nasrallah said the Hizbullah-led opposition "does not want to lead the country to civil war. This is a red line."He launched a vehement attack on Druze Leader Walid Jumblat, without mentioning him by name, saying the latter has "a personal problem which he doesn't know how to settle and wants to burden the whole of Lebanon with the repercussions."He was commenting on the insulting attack waged by Jumblat Wednesday against Syrian President Bashar Assad, Nasrallah's declared ally.
Jumblat, in an address on the second anniversary of Ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, also called on Nasrallah to hand over Hizbullah's weapons to the Lebanese army and the hay, which concealed the load of the confiscated truck, "to your allies."Nasrallah said speeches delivered during a mass rally commemorating the second anniversary of the Hariri assassination "instigate fear and concern.""Are those the leaders who would reach a compromise? Is this the language that would put Lebanon at the gateway to a solution?" he asked. However, Nasrallah said, a "ray of light was expressed by Parliamentary Deputy Saad Hariri's speech."He was referring to the speech of the slain leader's son, Saad, in which he proposed trading the opposition's acceptance of an international tribunal to try suspects in his father's crime for a new government grouping representatives of the various parliamentary blocks.
Nasrallah said "there are factions (within the majority) that have an interest in a solution and that are seeking a solution. And there are internal forces that do not have an interest in a solution."
"There are external forces that do not want a solution in Lebanon … Israel doesn't want a solution, the Americans do not want a solution," he added.
Stressing that the various calls for a national dialogue are "premature," Nasrallah said: "We welcome any bilateral meeting between a leader of the other party and a leader of the opposition. Bilateral meetings could be an effort leading to opening gaps" in the wall separating both camps.
Hizbullah at this stage, Nasrallah explained, was not prepared to talk directly to leaders of the March 14 alliance "because they want this meeting to proof their claim that Hizbullah is the opposition … We trust our allies … Any leader of an opposition faction can represent us without hesitation."
Beirut, 16 Feb 07, 18:01

Assad Arrives in Iran for Talks with Ahmadinejad
Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived Saturday in Iran, his country's closest regional ally, for talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders on topics covering Iraq and Lebanon, official media said.
Assad headed straight for a welcoming ceremony with Ahmadinejad to mark his second trip to Tehran since the conservative Iranian president took power in August 2005. State television said Assad would discuss during his two-day stay strengthening bilateral ties and the situation in the Middle East region, in particular the instability in Lebanon and Iraq. Accompanied by Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and Vice President Faruq al-Shara, Assad was to meet former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani later Saturday. He is also scheduled to meet supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Assad was the first world leader to visit Ahmadinejad following his election victory -- just five days after he took office -- and relations have remained robust ever since. Ahmadinejad said after Assad's last visit that the strong relations between Iran and Syria "makes our enemies angry," in reference to the United States. The Iranian president visited Damascus in January 2006, where he held talks with Assad and the Syria-based political leaders of Palestinian militant groups. Assad's latest visit to Tehran comes at a time when both Syria and Iran have been accused by the U.S. of "meddling" in the region. Both vehemently deny the charges. Washington accuses the two countries of helping stir up insecurity in Iraq by supporting insurgents and allowing militants to cross their borders. Damascus has also been accused of fomenting the violence which has dogged Lebanon since the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, while Tehran stands accused of arming the militant Shiite group Hizbullah. Syria is a staunch supporter of Iran's controversial nuclear program, which the U.S. alleges is cover for making nuclear weapons. Iran insists its atomic drive is solely aimed at generating energy.(AFP)
Beirut, 17 Feb 07, 14:41

Siniora urges rival camp to end 'failed' sit-in
By Rym Ghazal -Daily Star staff
Saturday, February 17, 2007
BEIRUT: Lebanon's Premier Fouad Siniora called on the opposition Friday to end its sit-in against his government, saying it had "failed" to achieve its goals. "With the protest now entering its 11th week, what has happened?" Siniora asked reporters at the Grand Serail Friday. "Nothing has been accomplished and nothing will be accomplished this way.""There is no other solution to the current problems but to sit together and talk," he said.
"The government has a majority in Parliament and has proved it has true majority among the Lebanese," he added, referring to the hundreds of thousands of pro-government supporters that gathered Downtown to commemorate the second anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But Siniora's statements came as resigned Labor Minister Trad Hamadeh warned Friday that Parliament "will not convene" in March, when ordinary sessions are due to resume.  "Parliament will convene only if the government is a representative and constitutional government," he told the Voice of Lebanon radio station on Friday. The March 14 Forces have repeatedly urged Speaker Nabih Berri to call for an extraordinary Parliament session in order to discuss and ratify pending decrees, primarily the international tribunal to try those accused of assassinating Hariri.
But the speaker has not convened a session since the resignation of the six ministers from Cabinet in November. Contacted by The Daily Star, Berri's spokesperson confirmed that "as long as the government is unconstitutional and unrepresentative, Parliament will not convene."
"But it's too early to predict what will happen between now and March," the he added. Meanwhile, US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman met with Druze leader MP Walid Jumblatt in Mukhtara, late Friday.
A statement following the meeting merely said the two had discussed "Lebanon's political situation in its entirety."There are also confirmed reports of an imminent meeting between Berri and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri. However, the timing has yet to be set. "The meeting will take place soon," Hariri told Al-Arabiyya television on Thursday night.The meeting will be aimed at resuming dialogue between the pro-government forces, headed by Hariri, and the anti-government camp, led by Hizbullah.
Hariri traveled to Saudi Arabia Friday, one of the countries on the forefront of mediation efforts aimed at breaking the political deadlock in Lebanon.
In the interview, Hariri focused on the international court to try suspects in his father's assassination and said the Security Council could override local objections and impose the court. "If obstacles continue to block the creation of an international tribunal, I think the Security Council will impose it, invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter," he said. Under Chapter VII, the Security Council can impose sanctions, or even resort to military force, if it determines the "existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.""It is clear," Hariri said, "that Syria does not want this tribunal. If this international tribunal is not created, then every opponent of the Syrian regime will be killed."
"Without the international tribunal there can't be national unity," he added. The international tribunal remains one of the main obstacles in the political deadlock. The Hizbullah-led opposition has been stalling the tribunal's ratification in Parliament, insisting on first amending and setting parameters for the tribunal's jurisdiction. Last week, the UN said it had signed a deal with the government to set up the tribunal, but that the deal must be in accordance with Lebanon's constitutional process, meaning it must be ratified by the country's divided Parliament. Berri has refused to allow the government to submit a bill that would authorize the court, effectively blocking the tribunal's creation.
Hariri did not speculate on what the outcome of his talks with Berri might be but said "he must choose between Lebanon and Syria."Hariri also welcomed a UN Security Council decision allowing the UN probe looking into his father's assassination to add to their duties investigations into the twin bus bombings this week that killed three people in Ain Alaq, north of Beirut. - With agencies, additional reporting by Maher Zeineddine

Franjieh slams Bkirki for 'biased' stance in conflict
Daily Star staff-Saturday, February 17, 2007
ZGHORTA: Former Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh criticized on Friday the "biased" position he claimed Bkirki has adopted in Lebanon's political conflict, saying that Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir was "discriminatory" in his handling of Christian matters. "If the opposition organizes a demonstration in protest against the increase of taxes, our motion is described as undemocratic and Bkirki accuses us of inciting street violence," he said, during an annual dinner organized by the Marada movement on the occasion of Shrove Tuesday. Franjieh said that Sfeir seemed to "bestow" all his support on those parties who refused to sign the "code of honor" declaration put forth by Sfeir himself, in an attempt to avoid inter-Christian discord.
"General Michel Aoun and I signed the declaration as soon as it was made available to us; however, it seems as if we continue to be the targets of Sfeir's disapproval and criticism," he said. 
Franjieh said that Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea "vocalizes stands that blatantly" go against the declaration on a daily basis, "yet Bkirki sees all stands adopted by Geagea as democratic and constructive. "Slander and libel are considered to be democratic practices, while fighting for the rights of the Lebanese is a barbaric act," the former minister said. Franjieh was referring to the speeches of Geagea and Druze leader MP Walid Jumblatt against the Syrian regime and President Emile Lahoud during the two-year commemoration of Hariri's assassination. Franjieh told attendees of the Marada movement dinner that both Jumblatt and Geagea feel threatened by the prospect of a common consensus to end the current political deadlock, "because they know that any solution will not be in their favor." - The Daily Star

Hariri calls on opposition to spell out tribunal stance
'Why do they want to include changes?'
Daily Star staff-Saturday, February 17, 2007
BEIRUT: Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri said late Thursday that the key to ending the ongoing political deadlock was the creation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The solution also requires a regional plan because of Hizbullah's links to Iran, he said. "Saudi Arabia is keen on restoring stability to Lebanon and is trying to find a way out of the current problems through a solution convenient to all parties," Hariri told Al-Arabiyya television ahead of a trip to the Gulf kingdom.
The MP said that Hizbullah's weapons were a Lebanese issue to be discussed during a national dialogue, not in the press.
"Hizbullah's weapons should be resolved through calm dialogue among Lebanese leaders," he said. Asked if he was for the disarmament of the resistance, Hariri said he supported "a strong state." "Even [Hizbullah leader] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said after the 2006 summer war with Israel that in the end the party will not keep its arms," Hariri added. "A political solution can only lead to political stability."
The Future leader said an ongoing opposition sit-in in Downtown Beirut would not succeed in "imposing a solution" on the Lebanese people.
"Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government will stay ... protests have been held since December 1 and Siniora is still in the Grand Serail," he said. Hariri called on the Hizbullah-led opposition to outline its amendments to a draft proposal for the tribunal. "Why do they want to include changes? For the sake of which party? If it is for the sake of the Syrian regime then we will not accept them ... for the sake of the killer?" he said, stressing that the opposition was "the killer's ally." However, asked whether the resistance was closer to Damascus or Tehran, the MP said, "It is closer to Iran."
"Iran is still offering Hizbullah aid ... It did not abandon the party and is still helping it," the Future Movement leader said. In comments on the presidency, Hariri said the March 14 Forces could have toppled President Emile Lahoud on March 14, 2005, but "there was a slight opposition from Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir" at the time. "If it was up to Lahoud, he would have transformed the presidency into a dictatorship like Syria, his ally," Hariri said. - The Daily Star

Qabalan urges politicians to end 'lies and fabrications'
Daily Star staff-Saturday, February 17, 2007
BEIRUT: The vice president of the Higher Shiite Council called on politicians on Friday to adopt a "milder rhetoric, so as not to instigate strife in Lebanon." Speaking during his regular Friday sermon, Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan also demanded that Prime Minister Fouad Siniora resign from his position, "so a national unity government can be formed, where true partnership is ensured."Qabalan said it was "unacceptable" for political leaders "to cling" to their posts and their personal interests, and neglect the needs of their people. Qabalan said that the political rhetoric that currently prevails was instigating "hatred" among the Lebanese. "Silence is golden and insults are a strategy used by the weak," he said. "Rather than throwing insults here and there, let's all work together to find a solution to the current deadlock," Qabalan added.
"Tense speeches loaded with insults serve no purpose whatsoever but to incite conflicts among the Lebanese," he said. "More importantly," Qabalan argued, "it is crucial that politicians' stands and speeches be sincere and not loaded with lies and fabrications." Qabalan receommended that the government and the opposition discuss "the content and make-up of the international court to try those involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri "before it is ratified by Parliament."Qabalan denounced the "blatant" intervention of foreign forces in Lebanon's domestic affairs, saying that "if these left us alone, all our problems will be automatically solved." - The Daily Star

A Word to the Brits - The War on Terror vs Air-Headed Singing Groups
by Stella L. Jatras
Febrary 15, 2007
A 19 December article that appeared in The Guardian (UK) quoted the Dixie Chicks as saying to an audience in London in 2003 that "We're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." They were talking about the Iraq war and of John Lennon's campaigning against the Vietnam war. It was to set off a political storm in the United States that "echoed the treatment meted out to John Lennon 30 years ago."
The article, titled "He didn't have to do it. That's one reason he's still admired," indicated that what happened to John Lennon was worse than happened to the Dixie Chicks. "It was the FBI campaign against John Lennon which showed how far the state would go to deal with stars who refuse to toe the line."
The music was great, sure, but was it worth it? Lennon claimed that he had been busted for possession of cannabis; he also claimed "it had been planted by the police." But in the music of the Beatles, there was a message, and what followed was "turning-on" an entire generation and generations to follow with their "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," (LSD), with, "I'll get by with a little help from my friend," (wink, wink) and with the attitude of, "Hey, if it feels good, do it!" In America, kids were turned on to free love at Woodstock, not caring about the sexual consequences of their actions, and leaving the "rock concert" venue looking like a garbage can, another indication of the character of the new America that was to come. So if Lennon wasn't advocating "cannabis," his music was popularizing the drug culture.
It appears that anyone or any group who bashes the United States finds great favor in Britain. Regardless of whether the war in Iraq is right or wrong, we are there. Indeed, it is a tragedy as is any war, but that over 80% of the country is thriving with new-found freedom is not reported. We saw scenes of un-veiled, smiling Iraqi women proudly holding up their stained finger, willing to dodge bullets, as a sign that they have voted. Rather, the news centers around Baghdad where Muslims are killing Muslims, and every American casualty is front page news. The divisiveness in the United States and Britain, and the role of the anti-war protestors, has not gone unnoticed by those who would do harm to us. They have found our weakness as we are already finding it in our home-grown terrorists.
If the American people had been told just how many GIs were lost at Normandy, they might have demanded, "Bring our troops home!" and "To Hell with Europe!" America lost more GIs in the first day for the battle Iwo Jima than we have lost in the over four years of war in Iraq.
The sacrifices made in World War II by America were tremendous and the American people were behind winning the war against Hitler because we knew, if we did not defeat the enemy, the consequences would be unthinkable. Furthermore, we left thousands of GIs buried on European soil, yet the hatred for my country continues, or perhaps it's "What have you done for us lately?" It was President William Jefferson Clinton who organized a Vietnam anti-war march in London during his draft-dodging Oxford days. The Vietnam anti-war movement was most popular on college campuses in America; however as soon as the draft ended, so did the demonstrations. It appears that these anti-war protestors were worried more about their sorry behinds than they were about saving the Vietnamese people from communism.
If the same anti-war movement that is taking place today in the United States and Britain had taken place during World War II and Americans had not gone to the aid of England, Europe would be flying the swastika today.
The same holds true today. To the Brits, I say, "if we do not defeat these Muslim extremists, the Jihadist enemy that is trying to destroy us, you, too, will be involuntarily praying five times a day to Allah, and your women will be veiled in Londonistan."
Bashing President Bush may be great sport among air-headed singing groups or journalists whose minds are stuck in the 60s, but The question you should ask yourselves is: "Do we want a world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms...or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by Jihad, and under the Mullahs and Sharia (Islamic) Law?" If I am not mistaken, Britain is already considering granting Sharia law for Muslims instead of being judged under British law. Piggy banks are no longer distributed in British banks because they offend the Muslim population.
The article also states, "Lennon's case illuminates the price pop stars and other celebrities can pay for taking controversial political stands - particularly when they oppose American wars." Poor Hollywood, paying for their anti-war stand, with their diamonds, their million dollar weddings, their pride of having babies with this father or with that, and poor Charlie Chaplain, driven out of the United States because of his pro-communist sympathies. Would Britain have welcomed him during World War II, if Chaplain had been a Nazi? He would have been thrown in jail. As far as communism and Nazism are concerned, they're two sides of the same coin.
Senator Kennedy has threatened President Bush that before any addtional troops can be sent to Iraq, the President must first get the approval of Congress, or has Senator Kennedy forgotten that it was President Clinton, who, in violation of International Law, the NATO Charter, and without the approval of Congress sent NATO to bomb tiny Yugoslavia that did not have weapons of mass destruction, never attacked, nor was it ever a threat to any NATO country?
What can be considered another politically correct poke in the eye against the American country music establishement that had shunned them after their anti-Bush remark, the Dixie Chicks' defiant comback in Los Angeles on 12 February 2007 won them five Grammy Awards.
Winston Churchill warned the British people of the NAZI threat well before September 1939. He was ignored, and Britain almost lost its freedom. But with the power of his character and his magnificent command of the English language he got the the British people through England's darkest hours. It would be interesting to know how many people in England today can tell you anything about Winston Churchill compared to those who know all about John Lennon and the Beatles.